It contains a great number of places of interest and natural
beauty, the vastest lava area of the country and one of the two
dangerous earthquake regions. Road # 1 passes through it.
Recreational activities on offer are quite interesting and
varied. Driftwood has played an important role all around this
otherwise woodless country ever since it was settled. The
northern coastline is “white” with driftwood from Siberia.
Jokulsargljufur (Vatnajökull National Park)
Jökulsárgljúfur is the northernmost part of Vatnajökull National
Park, with separate boundaries, but geographically connected to
the rest of the park by the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The
river's source is in Vatnajökull glacier, near the subglacial
Jökulsárgljúfur literally transcribes as Glacial-River-Canyon.
This canyon is 25 km long, 500 m wide and in many places 100-120
m deep, making it one of the deepest and most breath-taking
canyons in Iceland. Jökulsárgljúfur is also known for its series
of waterfalls: Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss and Réttarfoss.
The park's visitor centre, Gljúfrastofa, is located in Ásbyrgi,
along with a fairly large and developed campground. A more
primitive campground is located in Vesturdalur, which is midway
between Dettifoss and Ásbyrgi.
Ásbyrgi can be visited any time of the year, although services
may be limited during winter. Dettifoss and Vesturdalur are
located at higher altitude and therefore subjected to snow cover
and road conditions.
Langanes reaches almost 40 km into the ocean to the northeast.
It is fairly wide to the south, gets narrower to the north and
ends in a narrow cliff-point called Fontur. The part of Langanes
that lies south of Þórshöfn is called Framnes (front cape), the
part to Eiđisskarđ is called Miđnes (mid cape) and the part
outwards from there Útnes (out cape). All the farms on Útnes are
The landscape on the cape varies from marshes, gravel plains and
stony hills. It is fairly grassy in places and good for sheep
grazing. Sheep’s are kept on the farms still in existence on the
mid- and front cape. Around Langanes are good fishing grounds
and fishing has always been a core activity. A wide variety of
birds nest there too. The land has traditionally offered great
benefits to its settlers such as eiderdown, driftwood and fowl
hunting in the cliffs. There are also examples of people coming
from neighboring rural districts such as Þistilfjörđur and wider
in the spring to cure scurvy and other similar ills. Rare plants
grow in Langanes.
Birdlife: Langanes is an impressive bird
watching area. Separated from Skoruvík cliff is a pillar of rock
called Stórikarl (Big man). There is the largest nesting ground
of the sea-gannet in northern Iceland and many other birds next
there such as the guillemot, kittiwake and fulmar. The pictures
to the side show 3 common birds in and near Langanes, the
kittiwake, guillemot and herring gull.